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fionlondon
24-01-2008, 20:24 PM
Hi

I am a first time landlord and found a tenant through an agent, although I live nearby and manage the property myself.

Although I was not sure about young children initially (and the possibilities for them ruining carpets in various ways) I agreed to let my flat to an apparently single mum from Poland with 2 children.

She said she was looking for a long term home for her and her kids.
I did not ask if any other people would be living with her, and she had enough sole income to cover the rent.

We are nearing the end of the 12 month fixed term shorthold assured tenancy and over the course of this year I have come to slowly realise that she also has her brother, his girlfriend, her mother, father and 2 children living with her in the flat.

She is very nice, reliable, clean, pays her rent on time and has never been dishonest about the 5 adults and 2 children moving in!

The flat has 2 bedrooms and while she keeps the place very neat and tidy, this high occupancy level is starting show as wear and tear.

Moisture levels seem to be particularly high due to the number of people breathing overnight in bedrooms with the windows shut - which is now causing some damp to appear.

If she was alone with the kids, I would increase her rent by the inflation rate of 2.1% and be happy to continue with the letting, but the extra wear on the fixtures and fittings will surely cost me in the long term. Should I simply increase her rent by a higher (?) percentage to cover this cost? or Am I being naive and should I ask her to go?

I have no idea how many of the other 4 adults are earning a working wage.
What should I do?

I am sure that I could easily end up with a worse tenant!

Thanks
Fiona

jghomer
24-01-2008, 22:32 PM
I've read your post several times and still can't nail down exactly how many people are now living there, 8,9, 10?

Anyway. It's too many, and this will all end in tears, one way or another.

I'd issue a Section 21 notice for them to leave. She can then choose whether she asks the lodgers to leave, or they all leave.

A little extra rent is not going to compensate for the wear & tear of that many people in your flat. Unless your flat has 23rd century ventilation, the condensation from there breath alone will mean it needs decorating every few months. Then there's carpets, sanitary fittings, appliances, kitchen units, furniture & of course the neighbours to consider!

Get 'em out!

pcwilkins
25-01-2008, 09:34 AM
Have you spoken to her about it? Perhaps if you point out the developing damp problem she might be willing to have the windows open overnight, if the alternative is having to move.

I can understand why you are reluctant to ask her to leave, seeing as she seems a lot better than many tenants. At the end of the day it's your decision. Personally I would ask her to leave or to remove at least some of the extras.

Peter

Surrey
26-01-2008, 10:50 AM
I'm not sure, but there might be some rule or regulation somewhere at your local council about overcrowding, you could do worse than speak to the housing officer, or whatever job title they have, to find out if any rules are being broken. And that's rules that YOU might inadvertently be breaking by allowing such a high occupancy, even if they're not on the tenancy agreement.

If there were to be a fire or similar, who would get slated for allowing so many people to live in the flat? Well that'd be you, even though it wasn't something you set out to do. "Jus' watch yo' back" is all I'm sayin'.

justaboutsane
26-01-2008, 10:52 AM
LL is not breaking any rules on overcrowding! Its the tenants choice to have all her buddies living there. Council will do nothing.

Surrey
26-01-2008, 10:58 AM
LL is not breaking any rules on overcrowding! Its the tenants choice to have all her buddies living there. Council will do nothing.

I wasn't suggesting that the council might assist in reducing the numbers, but I thought first of all they might be able to give a definition of what is "acceptable", and second that if they got it into their heads they might pursue the LL to reduce the numbers if he/she knew that there were too many people.

If there IS a clearly defined guideline about what is an acceptable level of occupancy, if you want the lady to stay on but without the extras you could let her know what the council's numbers are. If she persists in having the world and his uncle staying with her, then maybe a S21 is the way to go.